August 02, 2016
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles 黄埔虾面 @ Tekka Food Centre ~ Bowls Of Simple, Old-School Delights
Hello August! Here's kicking off our nation's birthday month with a post to spotlight one of our local hawker delights..... prawn noodles!
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles 黄埔虾面 at Tekka Food Centre is a stall that is lauded by many aficionados for serving up that nostalgic, old-school traditional taste. Simple yet good, they say.
Really? Only one way to find out..... I went, I shoot, I eat..... I was very satisfied! :D
Some background on 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles first.
Currently helmed by Economics & Finance graduate turned 3rd generation hawker Ruifang, its roots went as far back into the 1950s when her grandfather started selling the noodle dish along the streets of Whampoa, before her dad took up a stall at Whampoa Market.
The Whampoa stall is now manned by Ruifang's aunts, while she herself took on the operations at the Tekka stall. A typical day will have her starting as early as 3am to get ready the ingredients so that the prawn noodles can be served by 6.30am, before closing the stall by 1pm or 2pm. After that it's cleaning as well as next day's preparation into the late afternoon.
But when I went recently, the young lady was no where to be seen. My initial thought was..... the long hours and humid hawker environment must be too tough and she gave up? Hehee no! She took time off to have a baby! Congratulations, Ruifang!
Back to our visit at 545. In true blue Singaporean fashion, we chiong (rushed) off the office promptly at lunch hour, fast fast made our way over to Tekka Food Centre, quickly chope (reserved) seats at a nearby table with tissue paper and joined the queue. The wait of around 10 minutes was not considered long at all. Okay lah!
The Prawn Noodles ($3/$4) is available in both Dry and Soup. Of course I have to try both versions lol! What you see here are the bigger $4 portion.
Though the soup version with thin vermicelli was enjoyable in a comforting way, I still prefer the more shiok (pleasurable) dry noodles.
Choosing yellow mee to anchor the bowl, it was a toss of deliciousness in ketchup and sambal chili. Usually my preference is not to include ketchup, but in this case, I wanted to try out the sauce in its originality for a better gauge of 545's standard offering.
Overall, it was very well-balanced in taste, not too sweet, not too spicy, not overly intense yet adequately flavorful with additional oomph from the aromatic fried shallots and crispy lard.
The accompanying broth was not overwhelming intense in crustacean flavor, but sufficiently rich in each agreeable sip.
I like the pieces of lean pork and prawns as well. The prawns were conveniently de-shelled and sliced into half. Not as luxurious as the jumbo-sized ones which some stalls offer, but nevertheless enjoyable with its fresh crunchiness.
This proves that as long as a dish is well-executed, it doesn't need to be overly fancy to catch our fancy. No frills but still thrills.
Will I be back for more of 545's hae mee (prawn noodles) again? Definitely yes! More hae mee hae-ppiness please!
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles 黄埔虾面
Address: Tekka Food Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, #01-326, Singapore 210665
Opening Hours: Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri 6:30am-2pm / Sun 6:30am-1pm / Closed on Wed & Sat
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Nett (3) Correct at point of published date.